“Style’s” not so sexy older sister, “structure”. Part 5 of SC’s foundation level copywriting skills.
I know talking about the structure of your writing isn’t as exciting as thinking about your tone and style (here’s the link to my newsletter about that if you missed it). But it is just as important. I also know that it’s holiday time, so I’ll keep this blog about structure brief and to the point.
1. Plan a beginning, middle and end.
Trite advice perhaps but often forgotten. Don’t let your blogs become a waffle or your Home page become a blur. Have a clear idea of the points you want to make and if you find you have too much information, consider breaking it down into separate chunks, pages or posts.
2. Keep it clear and concise.
Like it or not, we’re all guilty nowadays of skim reading and short attention spans. So the key to keeping our readers attention is making it valuable, informative and even fun yes, but keeping it concise at the same time. That doesn’t have to mean ‘short’ copy but if you are regularly writing 1,000 words plus for your blog, try cutting the word count by half without losing the essence of your post. It may take a little time but if you can, the chances are you are guilty of waffle.
For those that know me well, you’ll know how much I love a headline or sub heading but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re easy. With 80% of folks not reading beyond your headline (be that your email header, blog or social media post), it’s really important that they are irresistible to you reader. The “How to” and “3 ways to” type headlines have a good track record but don’t just rely on those or risk being dull. Make your headlines clear, make them concise and make them just too darn good not to read on. In other words, make them a priority.
And don’t forget my friend the sub heading. Great for sign posting a reader, great for bringing structure, not bad for SEO, what’s not to love?
Structure brings clarity and readability but if you have a creative mind, and let’s face it you do, then it’s also easy to lose sight of. At some stage you may want to buck the trend and bring your own different structure to bear. That’s fine. So long as your focus is always on making it easy to read and not being clever.
So, have a great summer tapping away at those blogs. And if you’re struggling with your headlines or cant get a grip of your structure, just email me at email@example.com